Emily Takes Photos: San Francisco Wedding & Elopement Photographer

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There are a small handful of businesses out there that have APW in their very DNA. And to be honest, the fact that this once teeny tiny personal project of a website that started as a blogspot blog has been able to grow and support artists, building their business from the ground up, is one of the things I’m proudest of. One of those businesses is Emily Takes Photos, who is now one of the best damn wedding photographers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Emily found APW, through the magic of the internet, in the very first weeks of its existence. So I followed a comment back to her website, and then I made her let me post pictures of the first wedding she ever shot (on a point and shoot no less). In the intro to that post, I said, “If I could only have one lofty goal for this website, it would be that I would help make small and simple weddings fashionable again.” And if that seems prescient now, I partially have Emily to thank. She started as one of APW’s first ever advertisers, has since then has built her business by and for APWers, and now works as APW’s advertising manager playing a key role in making APW run. She’s shot more of your weddings than any person on the planet, and she is super invested in rebuilding the wedding industry to be awesome, from the ground up.
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But what I really want to talk about is what it’s like to work with Emily as a photographer. Emily Takes Photos has become the sort-of-unofficial-staff-photographer of APW. Not only do you see her photographs featured all over the site on posts, but she also steps in whenever we need some pictures: photo shoots at a pony farm, check. Shots for my pregnancy announcement, check. And Emily is a total joy to work with. She doesn’t make you come up with ideas for the shoot (a photography practice I really hate), and she gets what she needs in literally between two and five minutes (which I love). She shot the prettiest pictures of me taken during my whole pregnancy in five minutes between my lunch the gym. That, kids, is talent. But more than all that, Emily strikes the perfect balance of getting the shots you didn’t know you wanted, and being totally willing to work with you on what you know you do want. This is not a photographer who “won’t do that because it’s cheesy” or “has a specific artistic style they are uncomfortable working outside of.” No. To hell with ego. If you ask Emily for something, she will deliver and it will be beautiful. I love that, times a thousand.
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And you guys. The pictures speak for themselves.
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This year, Emily has fallen head over heels in love with elopements (because there is always a new aspect of APW weddings to fall in love with). She told me this:
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A couple weeks ago, I found myself at the beach on a Tuesday afternoon, taking portraits of a couple who had just eloped at San Francisco City Hall. After the initial shock of the burning sand on my bare feet wore off, I thought to myself,

“How effing excellent is my job? I’m at the beach on a Tuesday AND I got to witness and photograph one of the most momentous occasions in this couple’s life?”

Pretty. Effing. Awesome.

Random beach excursions aside, it got me thinking about the elopements I’ve shot over the last few years. I realized there’s a kind of raw quality that I love about them; they’ve essentially broken down weddings to the core and focused on the most important aspects, and replaced that giggly-nervousness I find at larger weddings* with a more giggly-calm feeling. I want to chase that feeling.

*Don’t get me wrong, I love both big weddings and small elopements (and everything else in between); there’s room in my heart for them all.

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And because of that, Emily Takes Photos is offering a Summer APW Special: book by Aug 31 and get 10% off any 2012 elopement. Plus, she’s also booking for all kinds of weddings in 2013, so you should totally get on that.
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  • Amen to all of this! Emily is bad ass in person and online besides incredibly talented (obviously). Hire her!!!

  • I couldn’t have said it better myself! Emily took my crazy methodical engagement session plan and managed to keep us calm and produce some breathtaking pictures. I could not speak more highly of her. Hire her, you won’t be sorry :)

  • Christina

    Yeah Emily! She’s a talented photographer and extremely kind person.

  • I think any wedding or elopement shot by Emily will be amazing!!